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The Gift of Perspective

Dec 31, 2019

This past week I was a victim of fraud and it cost Willow a chunk of money. For several days I couldn’t shake how stupid and violated I felt. I had a sick feeling in my gut and lost my appetite for both food and work. 

At the same time, there was a lot of sad news around me. The mother of one close friend and the father of another died. Another friend is heartbroken because her partner left their 25-year relationship and finally, three women I’ve come to know through Willow are dying or very ill. 

There’s no perspective as powerful as our personal sense of the finite and precious nature of our lives.
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I know that any one of those people would gladly trade their grief for my lost dollars. Being there for my friends, either with emotional support or just in my heart helped me see the light. Looking at my fraud incident in relation to the preciousness of life and relationships, motivated me to clarify who and what matter most and to refocus my energy and attention.

Frank Ostaseski says it so well in his book, The Five Invitations.

“We can harness the awareness of death to appreciate the fact that we are alive … It is the impermanence of life that gives us perspective. As we come in contact with life’s precarious nature, we also come to appreciate its preciousness. Then we don’t want to waste a minute. We want to enter our lives fully and use them in a responsible way. Death is a good companion on the road to living well and dying without regret.”

What about you?

How has the preciousness or precariousness of life helped you put things into perspective?